All it takes….
After a childhood spent cavorting around Europe with a dangerous crowd, Miss Isobel Tinker has parlayed her experience and language skills into a safe, reliable life. Working as a clerk in Mayfair’s Everland Travel Shop, she dreams of someday owning her own travel agency and has vowed never to leave the familiar shores of England ever again. When a handsome duke arrives at her doorstep, she realizes her staid existence is about to take flight.
…is faith and hope
Jason “North” Beckett, the Duke of Northumberland, desperately needs a travel guide. He’s inherited a dukedom but has a final mission for the Foreign Office—rescuing his wayward cousin from Nordic pirates. Isobel Tinker is the ideal translator, discreet and unknown, but she’s also uncooperative, stubborn, and disarmingly beautiful.
And a little bit of trust
In exchange for her help, North promises Miss Tinker her own travel agency upon return and strict professionalism at sea. Isobel cautiously agrees but soon realizes “strict” and “professional” are not how she would describe her feelings for the irresistible duke. As their adventure sweeps them to the shores of Iceland and beyond, can temptation and growing trust give way to the magic of wild, passionate love?
Maybe it's because Peter Pan was my favorite holiday television special when I was a child, or because I couldn't get enough of Disney's Peter Pan's Flight ride that carried me off into the magical world of Neverland. Maybe it's because I was thoroughly captivated the first time I saw Tinkerbell sweep through the night sky, sprinkling fairy dust as she flew overhead. Or maybe it all comes down to Charis Michaels' charismatic writing and spellbinding storytelling. Whatever the reason, once I started reading this fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining historical romance inspired by Tinkerbell and other characters from Peter Pan, I couldn't put it down. Michaels snagged my interest almost immediately, then took me on a twisty adventure from England to Iceland and back again, weaving together an unlikely romance between two intriguing characters. Is it a bit over the top at times? Yes. Did I care? Not in the least.
Isobel and North are both fully fleshed characters whose personalities and back stories gradually unfurl as their journey progresses. I love that both of them turn out to be so much more complex than they seem at first appearance, with intriguing layers as well as surprising strengths and weaknesses, and a few twists I wasn't expecting. The chemistry between them sparks almost immediately, leading to wonderfully delicious friction, tension, and snappy banter. No easy road for these two but what a fun, adventure-filled, and thoroughly satisfying journey.
The nods to elements from Peter Pan, seamlessly woven into the story, felt like a delightful gift each and every time I stumbled upon them. And the characters inspired by Peter, Hook, Tinkerbell and more, while all true to their time, place, and part in this story, still honored those earlier characters from whom many of their characteristics were taken.
You know those books that charm you, enthrall you, and make your heart flutter with glorious butterflies? This is one of those books. It's an adventurous, heartwarming, happily ever after that pays homage to one of my favorite characters who never got a happy ending - until now - in a way that made me laugh, cheer, sigh, cheer some more, and pretty much grin from beginning to end. It's going straight to my keeper shelf where it's destined to become one of my comfort reads, a story I can revisit whenever I need an infusion of joy.